The Parklands is a systemic, world-class addition to Louisville’s parks system that includes four major parks linked by a park drive, a first-rate urban trail system, and a remarkable water trail, all tracing Floyds Fork, a classic Kentucky stream. This public/private project is unique in the region and unlike anything currently in development across the country. This is a city-shaping model for the world to follow.
The master plan for The Parklands includes:
- 100 miles of new trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding
- 19 miles of canoe trail along Floyds Fork Creek
- Children’s playgrounds, walking paths, bark parks.
- Numerous facilities for family picnics and community events
- Accessible fishing holes, canoe launches, ball fields and much more
The construction costs for The Parklands total $120 million. In February 2013, 21st Century Parks completed the $120 million Capital Campaign goal for park development and land acquisition, more than $60 million through the generosity of local individuals, corporations and foundations. A federal transportation appropriation, secured by Senator Mitch McConnell, provided $38 million for park development, Louisville Metro appropriated $1.5 million for the project’s first playground, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, with the support of Governor Steve Beshear, contributed $10 million for infrastructure.
Phase I construction began in 2011 and The Parklands will open in phases, beginning in 2012, with the entire system scheduled to be open by 2015. 21st Century Parks currently manages the park development process and through the establishment of an annual fund and endowment will be responsible for park operations and maintenance in the future .
The Parklands will preserve and enhance nearly 80 percent of the land for natural landscape, which will result in environmental benefits including improved air and water quality and increased wildlife habitat. 21st Century Parks is establishing The Parklands as a powerful educational resource to encourage hands-on learning for our region’s school children, while simultaneously inspiring opportunities for adults and families.
The Parklands will create a significant urban habitat corridor that will stretch 15 miles within Louisville’s boundaries, linking together what are today scattered fragments of forest. It will protect and enhance the landscape for countless species of plants and animals including:
- 25 species of reptiles and amphibians
- Over 40 species of fish
- 20 species of rare freshwater mussels
- Federally endangered gray and Indiana bats
- 19 species of mammals such as otters, flying squirrels, mink and beaver
- 138 species of birds
- 450 species of native plants including the endangered Kentucky glade cress
Quality of Life
The addition of these beautiful parks and trails will enhance the quality of life and help our community and economy grow in ways that are healthful, sustainable and enjoyable. Reflecting Louisville’s remarkable reputation as a great place to live, this project will become a powerful vehicle for attracting and retaining individuals, families and employers, contributing to a vibrant future for our community and our children.
In the early 1890s Frederick Law Olmsted came to Louisville to design one of his masterpieces: the Louisville parks system. Working on lands located well beyond the edge of the city, Olmsted created a ring of parks and parkways that remains one of Louisville’s most remarkable assets. As the city grew around these parks in the early twentieth century, they perfectly exemplified Olmsted’s vision of “bringing nature into neighborhoods,” they became a way of shaping a city’s geography, its social interactions and its economies, and today they are urban parks that create some of the most livable neighborhoods in the nation.
The Parklands of Floyds Fork cuts right through the heart of the last major undeveloped section of Metro Louisville. It preserves a vanishing landscape while creating the finest urban edge in the country. 21st Century Parks is employing world-class designers to express a contemporary and futuristic definition of beauty and function in the Floyds Fork corridor. In addition, there are plans for long-term maintenance funding to ensure that those parks will remain safe, clean, accessible public assets that will be well-used and well-loved by present and future generations.
The Park Location in Google Maps
View The Parklands of Floyds Fork in a larger map